"Building the Social Democratic Party,"
by Emil Seidel
Excerpt from a memoir completed in 1944.
Short excerpt from a previously unpublished memoir by the Socialist Mayor of Milwaukee, Emil Seidel, dealing with the socialist movement in that city at the end of the 19th Century. Seidel tells the tale of his membership in Branch 1 of the Social Democratic Party of America, where the Pennsylvania-born but culturally German Seidel came into contact with socialists of "purely native stock" such as Frederic Heath for the first time.
The SDP grew in Milwaukee and expanded its branch structure to parallel the city's electoral wards; Seidel consequently moved from Branch 1 to the 20th Ward Branch. He relates the story of bringing in the silver-tongued orator F.G.R. Gordon as a stump speaker. Gordon is remembered as a great influence in Seidel's own development into one of Milwaukee socialism's most effective stump speakers, despite Gordon's later being discredited for falsifying statistics. An anecdote about the 1900 Debs campaign is related.
Edited by Tim Davenport for 1000 Flowers Publishing, Corvallis, OR, September 2013.
Uploaded to Archive.org by Tim Davenport ("Carrite") on Sept. 13, 2013.
Non-commercial reproduction permitted.